Starter Kit for Learning to Swim

A teaching aid is anything that a teacher brings to a swimming session that assists students with the learning of a skill. Aids can be extremely useful and enable students to practice a desired skill with less fatigue. Teachers should be prepared to patiently lead students through a range of progressive activities supplemented with incidental use of a variety of equipment. Students will gradually recognize that the water will support them, with or without artificial support.

Flotation aids may help timid or poorly coordinated students to obtain sufficient control and balance to maintain a buoyant position. The use of different flotation aids is important, but dependence on them should be reduced systematically and eliminated as soon as possible.

Advantages of teaching equipment

The use of teaching equipment should either make learning more enjoyable or provide students with a temporary physical boost that helps them to concentrate on and achieve a particular skill level. For example, a toy can be used to encourage a hesitant child to immerse the face in an attempt to recover the toy, and may also help in developing an understanding of buoyancy. Teaching aids, when used correctly, enable the student to maintain correct body position and breathe comfortably while a specific kick is learnt.

Disadvantages of teaching equipment

Overuse of teaching equipment occurs when a student develops a dependency upon an aid, which either creates an impression that the skill cannot be performed without it or perhaps causes a fault in technique to develop. This sometimes occurs if a beginner always uses an aid to assist buoyancy and skills are never practiced without it; the student believes that the aid is solely repsonsible for buoyancy.

Teachers and students should be aware of the possible dangers of some teaching equipment. When using buoyancy aids such as flotation mats and large plastic toys it is possible for non-swimmers to be carried out of their depth by wind or water action, thereby creating an extremely hazardous situation.

Teaching equipment in poor conditions can be dangerous – for example plastic kickboards that leak or have sharp edges, or bubbles with faulty clasps. Aids are an assistance, ameans to an end; they are not ends in themselves. Used wisely, they enhance the learning process, but used unwisely their effect is negative. Having given a student an aid, the teacher must then devise strategies to withdraw it gradually, so that the student’s confidence is not lost in the process.

Types of equipment

Instructional/activity equipment


  • Balls
  • Plastic hoops
  • Ice-cream containers (with drilled shower holes)
  • Small buckets
  • Dive rings
  • Water flotation mats
  • Flotation toys
  • Water puppets
  • Water Toys
  • Water logs/noodles
  • Small colorful toys
  • Broomstick handles
  • Platforms (to alter the dept of the water)

For hygiene purposes, teachers should avoid toys that retain water!

Sea Squad Squirty Toys

Parents should be prepared to get wet too with these cute and quirky Sea Squad Squirty Toys. Swim toys are a fantastic way for little ones to have fun with the family in the pool or in the bath at home. Build your baby’s confidence in the water and help make bath time their favorite time of the day. Play, squirt and splash with these colorful Sea Squad characters.

BUY those Cute, squirty bath time and pool companions from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.

More important than equipment, students need teachers with imagination and enthusiasm.

Skill development equipment


  • Pull-buoys
  • Hand and finger paddles
  • Leg bands
  • Drag suits

Water safety/rescue equipment

  • Boogie boards
  • Balls
  • Inner tubes
  • Water logs/noodles
  • Pull-buoys
  • Rescue poles
  • Buckets
  • Cool plastic storage containers
  • Throw rope
  • Plastic weighted hoops
  • Plastic dive discs
  • Dive rings
  • Rubber swimbricks
  • Flexible dive sticks

Sea Squad Spinning Dive Toy

A Sea Squad Spinning Dive Toy means young swimmers will be learning to swim without even realising it! Cleverly combining learning with play, swim toys are a fantastic way for children to practise diving, holding their breath and swimming underwater. You can even introduce them to a bit of competition in the pool by throwing them in and seeing who can collect these shark-like swim toys the quickest!

BUY this Family fun with a functional twist from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.

Dry activities equipment

  • Videos
  • Posters
  • Manikins

Aqua Belt

Aqua belt is designed to help you get the most from your swim workout. Each training aid will work a particular part of your body, so you can focus on increasing strength, stamina or tone where it suits you.

BUY this Aqua belt from Speedo and support SwiMMinD’s Stroke Analysis.
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Swimming Self-esteem is developed when…

A) the instructor believes in the swimmer and the parents

B) the parents believe in the swimmer and the instructor

C) the swimmer believes in the instructor and their parents

D) all of the above

Answer in the comments

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Avoiding dehydration – swimmers must drink clean cool water regularly

All swimmers, including novices, should get into the habit to drink water during training. Swimmers should aim to drink 200-250 milliliters every 15 minutes or 500-750 milliliters during a 30-45 minute class. The amount of fluid intake is dependent on the intensity of training and type of workout, the temperature of the pool and whether the pool is indoors or outside. Drink bottles should not be shared and must be cleaned regularly to prevent illness.

If swimmers lose too much fluid in training, they will suffer dehydration. They often do not realize how much fluid they actually lose because they are always wet, and thirst is often a poor indicator. Coaches should encourage swimmers to drink regularly during all sessions.

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How can I best prepare for an open-water race if I don’t have access to open water?

Open-water sessions are an ideal way to prepare for open water races (triathlons and swim marathons). However, there are many swimmers who might not be able to do this for various reasons. Do not fear it that is you. If you have access to a pool, you can still prepare very well and have a successful swim on race day.

Include longer swimming sets in your practices. It is important to swim several times the distance that you will complete during your race. Keep in mind that during you swimming pool swim you have extra rest on the wall. That is why, during practice you could also extend the distance that you will complete during your race. You could also train open-water turns or lifting your head for better sighting during your race (Tarzan drill – swimming with your head up).

Overall, even in the pool you could familiarize yourself with the conditions that you will have during the open-water race. If you add some creativity you could achieve wonders.

Good Luck

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